Sex Offenses Law

Sex Crimes: How an Attorney Can Help

Sex crime accusations can permanently harm your reputation. If you are convicted of a sex crime, you can face a lengthy prison sentence, fines, and sex offender registration. You have the right to mount a legal defense against any sex crime charges, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can represent you in court.

A criminal defense attorney can represent you during a sex crime investigation to help you avoid saying something to hurt your case. Your attorney can also investigate your case to find the weaknesses in law enforcement’s investigation regarding physical evidence, witness credibility, and opportunities for experts to strengthen your case.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Sex Crime Charges?

Sex crimes like statutory rape, sexual assault, child pornography, and indecent exposure are extremely serious. The penalties for a sex crime conviction can include:

  • Lengthy mandatory prison time
  • Years of probation after release from prison
  • A felony criminal record
  • Requirements to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, even if you committed the crime as a child

There is a lot at stake, so you should take sex crime accusations seriously.

Innocent people sometimes make the mistake of not getting a lawyer. Unfortunately, innocent people can still be convicted of criminal offenses if they say the wrong thing or don’t take their legal defense seriously.

You have the right to an attorney when facing criminal charges. The court will appoint a defense lawyer if you cannot afford one. You may also want to do your own investigation to find a lawyer who has actual experience trying criminal sexual conduct cases in front of a judge and jury. Many sex crime cases go to trial because the alternative punishments with a plea bargain are so high.

What To Look for in an Attorney

You will want a lawyer who is experienced in navigating sex crime investigations and trials. A lawyer who has experience in litigating sex offenses will also know:

  • How to cross-examine the doctor about the sexual assault exam and the rape kit evidence
  • Who the best scientific experts are who can critically analyze the physical evidence
  • How and when to argue pre-trial motions that could help your defense and improve your chances of keeping out prejudicial evidence or including evidence that could help your case
  • How to pick a jury and ask questions during jury selection that will help you pick jurors who will judge your case fairly and without any bias

A sex crime defense attorney is not just for after you have been charged. If someone has alleged child molestation or sexual abuse, you will want to talk to a lawyer before you talk to law enforcement or a social worker who is investigating the case.

An attorney can represent you during a sex crime investigation to give you legal advice on your rights, including your right to remain silent and your rights during a police search of your home or property. Getting good legal advice before any sexual offense charges can make a big difference in the outcome of your case if you’re eventually charged. Talk to a lawyer before you accidentally say the wrong thing during an investigation that hurts your case.

Defense Strategies for Sex Crime Cases

The prosecutor has the burden of proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they have to prove every element of the crime. If there is any doubt about any of the elements, you should not be found guilty. Your attorney can help you understand what defenses may be available to you, such as:

  • Mistaken identity
  • False allegations
  • Lack of evidence
  • Unreliable DNA evidence
  • Alibi
  • Consensual sexual conduct
  • Mistaken age of the victim
  • Inconsistent stories by the alleged victim
  • Unlawful search and seizure

Plea Bargain Negotiations

If you don’t have a strong case, you may have a better chance to avoid serious criminal penalties by accepting a plea deal. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge to reduce your charges, like pleading guilty to a misdemeanor instead of facing a felony.

However, with most criminal sex cases, there can still be huge collateral consequences for pleading guilty to any crime that arose out of the circumstances originally charged as a sex offense, like having to register as a sex offender, so it is imperative that you talk to your lawyer about your best options, before taking any plea deal or making any decisions about what to do in your case.

How Can I Find a Sex Crime Defense Attorney?

If you don’t know any lawyers or can’t get a personal recommendation, you can try searching online. LawInfo has legal resources and attorney listings in your state. You can search by region or legal practice area to find a local lawyer with experience handling sex crime cases like yours. Some lawyers may also offer a free initial consultation to help you find the right defense attorney for your case.

Was this helpful?

At LawInfo, we know legal issues can be stressful and confusing. We are committed to providing you with reliable legal information in a way that is easy to understand. Our pages are written by legal writers and reviewed by legal experts. We strive to present information in a neutral and unbiased way, so that you can make informed decisions based on your legal circumstances.